Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. has launched its first national television advertising campaign, portraying itself as an agent of change for cost-effective healthcare reform.
In the 30-second spots, Columbia/HCA's chief executive officer, Richard Scott, says his company seeks to "contain costs-not a little but a lot."
Columbia/HCA, the nation's largest for-profit hospital company, decided to launch the campaign because "we're on the forefront of the change that's going on in the industry," said Eve Hutcherson, a spokeswoman for the company.
"At times, there's a lot of misperception about what we do," she said, adding that the commercials are designed to tell the public "what the private sector is trying to accomplish and what we're trying to accomplish."
The commercials was produced by the Buntin Group, a Nashville, Tenn.-based advertising agency, and taped at Eastside Medical Center, a Columbia/HCA hospital in Snellville, Ga., which is just outside Atlanta.
The ads are airing nationally through the third week in January on CNN Headline News, ABC and CNBC. They're also airing on local stations in Louisville, Ky.; Nashville; Richmond, Va.; Dallas, Houston, and El Paso, Texas; Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa and St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Salt Lake City.
Ms. Hutcherson declined to say how much the ad campaign will cost.
Viewers who see the commercial and want to get more information can write Columbia/HCA's Louisville headquarters. They'll receive a letter from Mr. Scott and a booklet detailing the company's views on healthcare reform. Neither was available last week at press time.